A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Seven: Alyssa

"Record signings, bah, how I hate them."
Sylva sank down into her seat, taking her pen in her hand with very bad grace as the shop employees bustled around trying to control the excited crowd outside, and Jetta made sure everything was ready for her protegees in terms of security.
"Since writing is a struggle for your IQ, I'm not surprised." Nancy said darkly, taking the seat beside her. "Can you spell your name yet?"
"Oh, shut your face." Sylva rolled her eyes. "I'm not in the mood."
"What is eating you both today?" Copper glanced across at them from her seat beside Sadie, bewildered. "You both got hangovers or something?"
"Nancy doesn't get hangovers." Sylva said with a frown. "She's too much of a good girl."
"Yes, and I don't tell lies either." Nancy snapped back.
"It was for the best and you know I didn't mean to!" Sylva protested. "It slipped out, now can we drop it? Please? You did say you wanted nothing to do with it!"
"I think I lost the thread somewhere." Sadie observed. Copper shrugged.
"Me too." She agreed. "Anyone want to clue us in?"
"No." Sylva shook her head. "It's something from last night, that's all. Nancy and I agreed..." She glared pointedly at her bandmate, "that we weren't going to mention it again."
"Well, okay. If that's the case, will you stop sniping over it?" Copper begged. "We're going to have our hands full soon enough and we don't need them seeing us bickering."
"This is kinda exciting for me." Sadie owned. "Doing this in my home city. Even the drive up the chock-a-block motorway without a fag was worth it. I feel like I've been welcomed back with open arms by the Brummie people, it's awesome!"
"Yeah, you kinda have been." Copper grinned. "The radio show we did before we came here...BRMB, was it? They were all over you, calling you a local superstar and brummie made good and all that! And the NEC Arena tomorrow night looks like being a sell-out, too...our first real sell-out English gig!"
"I know." Sadie dimpled. "I'm really beginning to love playing England. Jetta was right - it does rock."
"Jetta is always right." The executive's clipped tones came from behind her at that point, startling them all. "An' they're gonna let the crowd in now, so time to be professional, got it?"
"We know, Mom, we've done these before." Nancy sighed. Jetta laughed.
"Well, just make sure you remember 'ow it's done, then." She said with an amused smile. "An' for 'eaven's sake, be friendly. Right now you look like you'll eat people an' that ain't good for PR."
At that moment the doors were opened and Nancy had no chance to retort, for her attention was soon taken by the streams of insistant fans.
"So many of them!" Sylva remarked. Copper nodded.
"Can you believe that we're finally blowing up a storm here?" She agreed. "Third time lucky, I guess."
"Just wish Topaz were here to share it." Sylva sighed. She cast the fan in front of her a smile, taking the CD they held out "Who's this to? Vanessa? No probs."
"Do I get a special dedication, or do I have to take the generic message like everyone else?"
A familiar voice, playful and teasing caught Sadie's attention and she glanced up, letting out an exclamation of surprise as she met her older sister's gentle gaze.
"Well, so you do remember little me, then?" Alyssa Knighton laughed. "I thought I'd pop along, say hi."
"It's good to see you. I've missed you all like you wouldn't believe since I went to LA." Sadie grinned. "And of course you get a special message. How about to the best sister ever and her wonderful family, from the trainee Brummie rockstar?"
"Sounds good to me." Alyssa smiled. "Hey, are you girls busy after this?"
"No, we were just heading back to the hotel to chill." Sadie shook her head. "Why?"
"Care to come pay our humble home a visit? Shari and Meg have been dying to see you. They were both thrilled to see Auntie Sadie on Top of the Pops. And of course..." Alyssa dimpled. "There's baby Josh, who you haven't met yet. So you'd be very welcome, all of you."
"I'd love to." Sadie's eyes sparkled. "Hang on a sec...guys? This is my elder sister Alyssa. She's invited us back to hers after we're done here - you all game?"
"Sure, so long as she doesn't want me to sign anything." Sylva waved her aching fist with a grimace. Alyssa smiled.
"I promise." She agreed.
"Then I guess we're in." Copper returned Alyssa's smile. Nancy nodded.
"Good." Alyssa looked pleased. "Well, Sadie knows where we are. Sadie, I'll scoot, because I'm causing a traffic jam, we'll save the proper introductions for later, huh? But it's good to see you and we'll all see you later."
"Sure will." Sadie beamed. "Bye, Aly. Thanks for coming."
"She seems nice." Copper remarked. Sadie nodded.
"She's...the best." She said softly, signing the next CD without even thinking about it. "And the closest thing to a Mum I had once my Mum was killed."
"She's the married one, right?" Nancy asked. Sadie grinned.
"Yes. Married with three kids now." She agreed. "She was expecting Josh when I left for Los Angeles and he was born last November. I was kinda gutted not to be there. Even more so when I found out he was a baby boy. I was there when Megan was born, but I'd have liked to have been there for Josh. First boy, and all, after two girls."
"Guess we better concentrate. Jetta's glaring at us." Sylva rolled her eyes. "C'mon. Sooner we're done here, sooner we can go meet the family that gave the world Jewel's English representative!"

Alyssa's home was in the centre of Sutton Coldfield, and though it was not anything near the size of Starlight Mansion it still had a pretty, homely feel about it. Climbing roses and honeysuckle decorated the red brick front and there were hanging baskets in the porch with trailing plants that in the summer bloomed in a rainbow of colours. As the four musicians stepped out of their car, each one felt that it was a happy house, and Sadie was quick up the path to ring the bell, feeling that she had really returned home.
She had no worries about Alyssa betraying her secrets, because her older sister had long since been her biggest confidant, and she had admitted one evening when chatting online that she had not broached the subject of her past with her new friends. It was not in the older girl's nature to interfere, and she had left it to Sadie's discretion. After all, as she had reasoned, Sadie was twenty three now, and well old enough to make her own decisions.
She greeted them with a warm smile, welcoming them inside the house as if she'd known them all forever, and Sadie was quick to make the introductions, settling down in the lounge she knew so well and demanding to know where her beloved nieces were.
"Upstairs, playing." Alyssa admitted. "I'm afraid Andrew is working, he'll be sad to have missed you...but I'll get the girls. Josh is sleeping, so if you don't mind I'll introduce you to him when he wakes."
"Can I have a peek?" Sadie begged. "I haven't even seen him yet!" Alyssa grinned.
"All right." She relented. "Come on, then." She smiled at the other Jewels. "We'll be right back, and I just put the kettle on. Help yourself to biscuits and the like." She indicated the plate on the coffee table. Then they were gone, leaving the three Americans to settle themselves.
"I like this room." Copper was the first to break the silence, taking a chocolate biscuit from the plate and taking a bite. "When Aaron and I get hitched, I want my front room in lemon, I think. It's welcoming."
"Planning ahead, huh?" Nancy observed. She smiled. "Sadie's sister seems nice, though. I see why they're so close."
"Me too." Sylva nodded. "Like Anna and I, only there are a few years between Sadie and Alyssa, I imagine, if she has three kids."
"I think Sadie said there were five years between them." Copper remembered. "There's a brother born between them too, I'm pretty sure Alyssa is the eldest and Sadie the third child. Then there are two others."
"Yeah, I think you're right." Sylva agreed. "Ooh, I hear noise!" As there was the sound of clattering footsteps on the stairs, followed by more sedate adult footsteps. "We're about to be invaded by kids!"
At that moment the door of the living room burst open, and Sadie, a girl of eight or nine tightly clutching her hand and a smaller girl of around three in her arms entered once more. She cast a grin around at her friends' expressions, taking a seat and gently setting the younger girl down beside her as the older one scrambled to sit next to her.
"Well, this is my madcap family." She said finally. "Guys, this is Sharita," She indicated the older girl, whose fair hair and deep blue eyes made her look very like her aunt, "And this li'l gal..." She tickled the other girl, causing her to giggle "...is Megan, who looks like her father, if you're wondering why she's so dark and curly. Meg, Shari, these are friends of mine from America - Copper, Sylva and Nancy."
"Hi." Sharita cast them each a beaming smile. "I saw you on Top of the Pops."
"Hi, Sharita." Sylva, ever the natural with children returned her smile easily. "It's nice to meet you, Sadie's told us all about you guys and how much she's missed you."
"We miss Auntie Sadie too." Sharita nodded. "Don't we, Meg?"
The little girl nodded shyly.
"Don't want Auntie Sadie to go back to 'Merica." She murmured. "Want her to stay with Megan."
"I'm amazed you remember me, it was a few months ago now that I left here." Sadie was touched. "But I have to go back, Meggi. I'm sorry, but it's my job now. But you know you're always welcome to come have a holiday in Los Angeles."
Megan just buried her head in her aunt's shoulder.
"She's shy." Sharita explained.
"She is, but you're not, huh?" Copper grinned. Sharita shook her head.
"I look after her." She said with a shrug. "Cos she's my sister and that's what sisters do." She eyed them in interest. "I never met any Americans before. You talk just like they do on TV."
Nancy laughed.
"We do, huh?" She asked, amused. Sharita nodded. She looked at them, her blue eyes big with curiosity.
"Auntie Sadie said in her letter that you live near Hollywood. Do you know any movie stars?"
"To be honest, we really don't." Copper admitted with a sheepish smile. "We work so hard and do so much in the music world that we've not really ventured into that world very much at all."
"I hear Jewel are big business in Los Angeles." At that moment Alyssa re-entered, bearing a tray of drinks. "Tea, everyone. I hope you girls are okay with that - I'm out of coffee. My husband must've drunk the last before he went to work this morning."
"We can't come to England and just drink coffee, that'd just be stupid." Sylva grinned, taking a mug with a pretty smile. "Thanks. Tea is great with me."
"We used to drink tea at home a lot anyhow." Nancy observed, taking her own cup. "Mm...nice English tea. Takes me back."
"Nancy's mother is English." Sadie explained, seeing her sister's bemused expression. "You can get tea in LA as well, Aly...but coffee is more common."
"Oh, I see." Alyssa flashed Nancy a smile. "Well, then you're practically a native, aren't you?"
"Feel like it sometimes." Nancy admitted. "Mom and I are pretty close. I know I probably sound like the outsize in yanks to you guys..." She looked sheepish. "But Copper and Syl will tell you that I don't have a classic Californian accent."
"She doesn't." Sylva agreed. "Though God knows what she does sound like." She took a sip of her drink. "This tastes really good, by the way."
"Thank you." Alyssa dimpled. "I'm glad you agreed to come visit. I've missed Sadie a lot, we all have, and I was keen to meet her new friends properly." She glanced between the three visitors. "But I'm surprised by one thing - Sadie, where's your Canadian friend?"
"Topaz?" Sadie asked. Alyssa nodded.
"I should like to meet her too."
"Topaz is otherwise engaged." Copper said slowly.
"She had a baby at Christmas." Sadie explained. "So she's kinda on maternity leave from the group. Hollie is a gorgeous baby but she's very demanding."
"Well, I know all about demanding babies!" Alyssa exclaimed with a smile. "It's a shame, though. Well, next time, huh? For now it's good to just meet you girls. Jewel are really kicking up a storm here, I must admit to being very proud to have such a popular sister!"
Sadie blushed a deep red, much to Sharita's evident amusement.
"Auntie Sadie's embarrassed." She observed, rather unnecessarily. Alyssa laughed.
"Sadie doesn't believe she has much ability." She responded. "But I've always known that's not true, and clearly you girls know it too, otherwise you wouldn't have welcomed her into your select pack so easily, right?"
"Sadie's one of the gang." Copper nodded, sending her redfaced friend a smile. "We like having her."
"Okay, this isn't embarrass Sadie day!" Finally the English girl held up her hands. "I'm loving being a Jewel, okay? And Alyssa, stop trying to make me blush!"
Alyssa laughed.
"Well, you shouldn't be so insecure about what you can do, then should you?" She teased. Then her expression became more serious. "Honestly though, Sadie, you look well and happy and I'm glad to see that your gamble across the atlantic has paid off so well." She grinned. "Next thing is to convince Andrew that a brief week or two in Southern California would be a useful break for the kids and I, huh?"
"You're always welcome." Sadie said sincerely. "It's been good to see you all again, Aly. Let's hope it isn't so long next time between visits, huh? I feel like I have so much to tell you!"

Chapter One: Nerves
Chapter Two: Bonny England
Chapter Three: A Bitter Shock
Chapter Four:  England's Jewel
Chapter Five: Top Of The Pops
Chapter Six: Sylva's Lie
Chapter Seven: Alyssa
Chapter Eight: Maidstone
Chapter Nine: Copper's Discovery
Chapter Ten: Amber Steps In
Chapter Eleven: Revelations

Chapter Twelve: Jetta Interferes
Chapter Thirteen: A Shock For Jewel

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!